[Amateur film: New Orleans Carnival Week, February 22, 1941]
- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
Parade of Nor (Children's).
Mardi Gras New Orleans, Louisiana Carnivals Festivals
- 2002-07-16 00:00:00
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Subject: good old days
Subject: Love this film
Thanks to all who have managed to preserve this and the other pieces of history here, what an amazing resource.
Subject: Choctaw Club
The Choctaw Club was home to New Orleans' "Old Regular" political organization, and was located at 518 St. Charles Ave. The building was in close proximity to City Hall (now Gallier Hall) underscored the power of the Democratic machine over the municipal government. The Choctaw Club building was demolished during the 1970s; the site is now occupied by the Best Western Parc St. Charles Hotel.
Subject: Then and Now...
Subject: Amazing quality
Subject: This is Kodachrome
I know the color looks great -- that's how good 16mm Koda can look when well shot and well-transferred to tape.
I don't know why I have to rate this film when all I want to do is add an annotation, but I guess I'll give it five stars.
Subject: New Orleans Back Then..
Subject: 1941 Mardi Gras in Technicolor
This is obviously Technicolor. No other film medium available in 1941 could have produced such rich, eye-melting colors as we see here, and nothing but a dye-transfer print (a hallmark of Technicolor films) could have held its color values as well as this footage has.
Because the cinematography is professional but not quite good enough for use in a major motion picture, I suspect this film was made by one of Technicolor's staff photographers.
In any case, the footage is priceless. I doubt any Mardi Gras celebration was so well documented in color for decades after this. I am absolutely in awe!
Featured in the footage are the parades of two krewes who no longer grace the celebrations, the Krewe of Nor (a rare children's krewe and predecessor to the current children's Krewe of Little Rascals) and the Krewe of Venus. Aside from the jerky camerawork and shoddy editing typical of the day (February 1941, nine months before the United States joined World War II) the footage gives the viewer a glimpse of a more civilized, respectfull spectacular, done with rather low-tech means. Notice the hand-drawn carriage floats with one or two people on board. Small and intimate, yet beautifully ornate in their designs. Also notice that very few beads are being thrown. In those days, catching a string of those glorious glass beads (yes, glass!) was a special gift of the season and very often became a treasured piece of jewelry in the owners' cases.
This footage also offers some marvelous insights into the revelry in the streets on Mardi Gras Day of that year. Satin-clad pirates, cowboys, clowns and cavaliers are the order of the day. Look for the banner of the Garden District walking club (one of the oldest of the walking clubs in the city at present) towards the end.
Footage like this, regardless of its deficiencies, is invaluable. It provides one of the only records now available to the general public of what Carnival was before the war, and just how much the celebrations have changed.
Visit Professor Carl Nivale's Compleat Carnival Compendium and Mardi Gras Manual at http://carlnivale.knows.it
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